Sunday, July 25, 2021

Summertime Spiritual Vision ~ Values: Fun - Love - Faith


"Faith is like WiFi. It's invisible but has the power to connect you to what you need." Anonymous 

Summer is the season of fun in the sun, outdoor play, camping, family vacations, BBQ's and more. It's easy to see the beauty and wonder of Life when you are engaged in such activities with family and friends. 

Each and every one of us is an expression of Divine Good. We are all a loving essence of energy that radiates goodness, love, peace, joy and light into every aspect of our life and the lives of those around us. The power of this Divine essence resides in each of us equally and it's up to us to activate it, to cultivate it and to celebrate it every day.

"If we disconnect ourselves from the past and find ourselves firmly rooted in God today, in love, in hope in joyful expectancy, and in grateful acknowledgment, and if we learn to harmonize with everything that transpires today, tomorrow will blossom like a new flower in our experience." Living the Science of Mind" 


There are always going to be days that don't go the way we had hoped they would. It may feel like we are on a giant spinning wheel that never stops. In times like these, it's good to take a spiritual time out. That may look like a giving ourself some quiet time or engaging in a solo activity like reading or doing something creative. 


It's also a great time to remember a few spiritual truths, that Spirit is everywhere and in all things. There is a power for good and we can (and do) use it. And, that Life is always for us and never agains us. 


If you were to paint a picture in your mind for what you would like to experience tomorrow, what would it look like? If you were to give it a word, what would that word be? What good feelings from today would you like to feel brand new tomorrow? 


"Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because of love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone." Leo Tolstoy

What if, we all make a commitment today to build something great that will carry us all forward into tomorrow that makes a loving impact. How big is the good you can imagine? What is one thing you can do to make a difference? What loving act are you willing and ready to do now that will have a lasting impact? What great wonderful thing will you build today? 

Your invitation is to do what ever it is with LOVE, with Fun and always with Faith.

Affirmations:

I have the power within me to make a positive impact in the world.

I am an expression of Love.

I am filled with joy and I spread it everywhere I go.

I have faith and it supports me in all I do, say and think. 

Mindfulness:

Today's invitation is to check out the website Bits of Positivity. 
www.bitsofpositvity.com  (not a hyper link). 

There is so much to explore on this web site, including great resources for mindfulness activities. 

Books:

Here is another awesome tip... Check out Storyline Online which can be found at 
www.storylineonline.net (also not a hyperlink).

Lots of great books that are videos read by members of the Screen Actors Guild. Often below the books are links to activities that go with the books and even lesson plans that link with the story of the book. There are featured books for the month, and a great library of stories to choose from.  

Thank YOU!!! 

To all who have been tuning into this blog this year, I want to express my gratitude. You have encouraged me and lifted my spirit in ways that have been so unexpected.
The project of creating a weekly blog this year was out of a desire to bring Spiritual lessons, practices as well as principles and values to families during the pandemic. 

Now that it's summertime and things are opening up a bit more, I am going to take a break in writing at least for the month of August. (My personal summer vacation.) 

Keep your hearts open ~ your minds stayed on Spirit ~ and know that you are LOVE in action... in all you are, say, do and think. 

Pray up my friends. 
Susan ~ 

(Thank you once again to Unsplash.com - Hannah Morgan, Noah Stillman and Marcin Skalij for the great photos)


Sunday, July 11, 2021

Resistance? Acceptance? - Exploring our Spiritual Growth

“Life is infinite energy coupled with limitless creative imagination. It is the invisible essence and substance of every visible form. Its nature is goodness, truth, wisdom and beauty, as well as energy and imagination. Our highest satisfaction comes from a sense of conscious union with this invisible Life. All human endeavor is an attempt to get back to first principles, to find such an inward wholeness that all sense of fear, doubt and uncertainty vanishes.” Ernest Holmes

This thing called life truly is an adventure. We humans go through periods of resistance, acceptance and a variety of ways of being in-between. Sometimes we are so caught up in the things we resist that we miss something wonderful that is calling our attention. At other times we live so fully in our bliss that we may miss something important. Having a regular spiritual practice helps us to find the balance that allows us to navigate life with ease and grace. It nudges us to look at the things we resist and push past our fears, as well as to live in our joy while also being present to the needs in our life. 

What are some of the ways you add spiritual practice into your life? Mediation, mindfulness, yoga, listening to calm music, meditation apps, reading, spiritual study, attending services. There are so many options to open our hearts and minds. You may be the type of person that has one way that works for you and you stick to that one thing as an anchor that keeps you grounded. Or you may like variety, choosing a healthy dose of practices that you mix up every now and then. What ever it is that works for you ~ go with that! I have found there is no one "right" way. Do the thing that feels right to you. Dive in.


"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy." Thich Nhat Hanh

One thing I've noticed throughout my personal journey, is that when I am in integrity with my life values and spiritual values, life flows with ease and grace. I smile more. I feel joy and lighthearted. When things go a bit sideways and wonky or I get cranky and edgy, I almost always trace it back to falling out of my regular spiritual practice. 

Over the years, I've found this true for the children and teens in my life as well. A regular does of spiritual practice has a calming effect. It's as if we turn a dial and click into our true selves, fine tuning into the grounding energy of Spirit, the source of Life that connects us all. As a licensed spiritual practitioner and youth worker, the majority of calls I receive from the young people in my life (or their parents) who are in the midst of seeming chaos... it all comes back to falling out of balance with spiritual practice. 

"Awareness is more essential that a hundred skills. To be aware is to be open. And to be open is to know the path of every master who has roamed the earth." 
Thomas Lloyd Qualls


A healthy does of awareness goes a long way. The same can be said for establishing a healthy does of values based living. 

It's been a while since I've mentioned resources and these are some of my favorites for families: (hyperlinks not working) 

Roots of Action - www.rootsofaction.com - a website focused on the practice of positive youth development. They have great articles, resources for families, teachers, youth mentors and more. Founded by Dr. Marilyn Price-Mitchell with a growing list of authors and contributors that bring information forward for use now in today's changing environments. 

A Fine Parent - www.afineparent.com - founded by a mom, who like many other parents was looking for resources, tools and activities that would aid in the depth of joy and challenges that come from being a parent. Wonderful links, articles, learning opportunities. (You can read up for free and choose to join or not)

BIG Life Journal - www.biglifejournal.com - Check out the blog. You can sign up for free and there are often free activities shared in the blog. Aged based appropriate materials and resources. Also some great tools/books and activities for purchase. 

Remember, Spirit can only do for us, what it can do through us. We are in the drivers seat of our lives and we have the best companion supporting us on every road we choose to travel. 

Below are a few children's books to explore. 

Eli's Lie-O-Meter - by Sandra Levins - Value:  Truth

Did I ever tell you how lucky you are - Dr. Seuess - Value:  Gratitude

The Quiltmaker's Gift - Jeff Brumbeau - Values: Giving - Happiness

Good People Everywhere - by Lynea Gillen Values: Kindness & Generosity

A bad case of stripes - by David Shannon - Value: Uniqueness

You be You - by Linda Kranz - Values - Uniqueness - self love - empowerment 

Enjoy and do the things that bring you JOY!!!

Thanks to this weeks photographers from Unsplash.com Ian Wagg - Ben White and Kelly Sikkema

 







Sunday, July 4, 2021

You are a Spiritual Broadcasting Station! - Energy - Vibration - Spirituality

"We are in the Water of Infinite Life as the fish is in the ocean...The Spirit of Life is all around us. It flows through us. I permeates everything." Ernest Holmes - This Thing Called Life.  

Have you ever noticed that when you are in a bad mood or a sad mood that your energy level feels depleted kind of like a balloon that’s lost all its air? Or what about when you are excited, happy and in a good mood, how you are like the energizer bunny, you just go and go and go. These are just some of the ways we experience our vibrational energy. We are broadcasting systems of energy. We attract that which is alike to us and we vibrate out the things we feel. We also have the ability to change the vibration of the energy of a room or those around us based on our mood. Now that's powerful!


“We are vibrational beings. We are constantly broadcasting into creative law the particular vibrational frequency of our thoughts, beliefs and feelings. Every feeling, belief and thought has a natural vibrational frequency. We attract to ourselves the same vibrational frequency we’re tuned into, much like a radio dial that tunes into a particular frequency. (Think of tuning a radio receiver to the frequency to reach a clear radio station). God, as First Cause, is the original broadcasting station, extending Its vibration out into all of Its creation.” Rev. Michelle Ingalls

“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” Nikola Tesla


Short clip from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (may have a lead in add)

One of my favorite lines in the Harry Potter books (and in the movie clip above) is a bit of wisdom from Dumbledore. For me it amplified a key point in our spiritual teaching, that thoughts have power. They can and do become things as we place our vibrational energy into them. Our mind is one of our most powerful, precious and complex organs in the body. Learning to use it for our good and the betterment of all life is one of the most empowering things we can do. 

"Everything is energy. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy This is physics." Albert Einstein

Your invitation for the coming week is to be mindful. Pay attention to your thoughts, your moods, your feelings. If they aren't what you want to feel, or think, see if you can determine why or what triggered those thoughts or your mood. Did you sleep well, eat well, drink enough water? Did someone say something negative that plays on repeat in your thoughts? Identify it, deal with it and be done with it. 
Take your power back and shift your vibration to a more positive outlook. 

Remember that you are sourced from and by a Power that works for your Good always. You are Spirit in expression. Go be fabulous!


Affirmations:

"I am the hight flying vibrational frequency of love and light." Rev. Michelle Ingals

Pure Star Kids - Positive affirmations for Kids - 6:36 
Simple readable and repeatable affirmations for kids. 

Meditation:

10 minute Positive energy mediation for any age.

Kids talk about mindfulness and how it 

A video meditation and mindfulness book for kids, by Rebekah Borucki 

Books:

I Like Me - by Karen Beaumont art by David Catrow
A book about self esteem and being comfortable just the way we are.

I think, I am - a book on Positive Affirmations by Louise Hay


Creative Activity - My vibrational frequency – Energy balls

This is one of my favorite activities to do with children!  

Sit in a circle together, in chairs or on the floor. Each person needs a partner.


Everyone rubs their hands together fast, feel the warmth build, then slowly pull your hands apart from each other a few inches. Feel the strings of electricity. It sometimes feels like tingles in the palm of your hand. Shape the energy into a ball. Keep it small so it can eventually fit in one hand. Feel its weight, size and shape. 


Turn to your partner, and gently move your energy ball into one hand and slowly pass it to your partner, as they pass their energy ball into your free hand. Feel the energy of your partner. Does it feel different than yours? Is it lighter, or heavier? Does it have the same shape? Notice how it is the same or different. Then gently pass it back to your partner.


Once everyone has their energy back, gently put it back into your body by bringing your hands to your chest/heart and breath it in.


Now share together. What did it feel like to hold your energy? How was your partner’s energy the same or different? Was it lighter – heavier? Did it have a color? 


Creative Expression - Megaphones of Love! Or Spiritual Satellites 

Supplies: Megaphones… construction paper – tape – scissors – stickers (maybe some yarn to create a handle) 


Spiritual Satellites – foam balls – aluminum foil – Long push pins with color ball or silver tips – wire to curl – or metallic chenille sticks (any other fun items you might have around) 


Based on the project you choose and the materials you have… create something fun to remind you of the power that lives inside you ALL OF THE TIME! Choose your frequency and tune in.


Special thanks to the Unsplash photographers, Mohamed Nohas - Miguel Luis and Nicolas Tissot


Sunday, June 27, 2021

Summertime Fun & Connection!



Centers for Spiritual Living Summer Teen Camp
A place for Summertime fun and Connection

This week what is on my mind is all the amazing memories and experiences that have taken place while attending Centers for Spiritual Living Teen Camps. From the deep connections and growth that comes from spending a week together in spiritual practice. To the insight and freedom that evolves from family workshops. To the lifelong friendships that are born, developed and continue beyond camp at every age level. Being a part of these camps over the years has been a true highlight of my life experience so far. 

One only has to look through the photos in my phone or on my computer to know where my focus has been over the last 15 years. Camp is a huge part of that. This year, Centers for Spiritual Living is raising funds in a Capital Contribution Campaign to purchase Cedar Ridge Camp and Retreat Center in Oregon. This location was the site of CSL teen camps in years past and with your help, will be our home for future youth/teens and adults in the future.

There are several ways you can contribute! Locally, our Santa Rosa Center for Spiritual Living is raising funds through a special donation button located on our website at www.cslsr.org. You can also mail a check to our Center at Center for Spiritual Living - 2075 Occidental Road, Santa Rosa, Ca. 95401. Make sure to write "Camp donation" on the memo line of your check so the funds are put to the correct account. 

If you are one of the readers who have found this blog, beyond our local Center and are looking for a place to bring spirituality to your children/teens/family, there are Centers all over the world with the bulk in the United States. Check your local area for a Center near you as we are opening back up to serve our local communities. And, many of our Centers will continue to have an on-line presence too. You can find a directory of local Centers at www.csl.org. There is also a link on that page to make a donation to the Capital Campaign! 

For what ever reason... the hyper links aren't working to the web sites listed above. However, a quick entry into your favorite search engine will find them. 

The Summer 2021 CSL teen camp this year is a virtual experience. With your help next year's camp will be in person on our very own camp site! 

May the summertime fun and connection live on for many many more years to come. 


 (Photo permissions signed by all campers) 

Sunday, June 20, 2021

What's Evolution without Love? Values: Love - Joy - Self Expression

What is Evolution without love? Why is it easier to "talk the talk" about love, and more challenging to love thy neighbor as ourselves? Humanity is in the process of being up-leveled in an evolutionary leap of radical love that calls us to reach out beyond our cocoons of limited thinking, limited beliefs and to truly LOVE one another. 

"Evolution is the awakening of the soul to a recognition of its unity with the Whole." Ernest Holmes - The Science of Mind

Our world is made up of diverse cultures, beautiful traditions, amazing landscapes and people who express life in a variety of ways. Our Evolutionary Vision is to see a world in which every person lives in alignment with his/her/their highest spiritual principle, emphasizing unity with God and connection with each other. 

We have within us, the ability to create a world of acceptance, harmony and selfless love. It requires us to drop our ideas of "other" and to realize our shared humanity and oneness with all Life. 

"Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth." Marianne Williamson

Everyone deserves to feel and experience love for who they are. It is also important for us to learn to express and experience self love too. You are a unique, individualized expression of the Divine ~ the Universal ~ Great Spirit.  Repeat that sentence above, then change the word you to "I am"... and "We are"... say them out loud and feel the truth of the words resonate in your being. When we embody and celebrate the truth of who we are through our own patterns of joyful self expression, we become a beacon of light for others to do the same. 

Have you ever heard of your Spiritual Bank Account? We all have one. We make deposits in it and withdrawals from it all the time. Love is the currency, and it comes in many forms such as kindness, compassion, friendship, caring, sharing and generosity. When we stand up for our friends, pick up and recycle our trash, care for each other (including our pets and the animal kingdom), share our resources, practice peaceful living and bring our joy into the world, we are making deposits into our Spiritual bank account. There are other ways too ~ a prayer, a meditation, an act of kindness, speaking kind words. What other loving acts can you think of?

When we bump into difficulties that may cause sadness, disappointment or pain, we can draw upon our Spiritual bank account by giving ourselves quiet moments of mindfulness or self reflection. Remembering we are a part of a vast Universe that is for us that supports us and knows our highest good, even when we can't see it for ourselves. Or spending quiet time in nature or doing something that brings us joy.

Then there are acts of being that drain our spiritual bank account. They are things like passing judgment or shaming others for being different than you, saying unkind things or thinking unking things about yourself. Not only do these acts deplete your spiritual bank account, they drain your personal energy too.

Which would you rather do, make deposits or drain your account? Ultimately the choice is yours.

"Love is the currency that I share with others and it returns to me in many different forms, filling every part of my life with joyful abundance." Adrienne Cherry

This weekend marks several different events, Juneteenth or Freedom Day is June 19. June 20th is Father's Day and Summer Solstice aka the start of Summer! What better time to learn about our nations history, celebrate the people in our lives who nurture and love us and get out for a bit of summer fun and joy. 

Here are a few questions to discuss, explore or contemplate. 
What are some of your favorite ways to express yourself? What are some of the things you enjoy doing in the summer months. What brings you joy? How do you express and experience Love? What is your Love language? (check out 5lovelanguages.com) What is something you like doing for others? What is something you enjoy doing for yourself? What is something that makes you feel loved? What is one way you can stretch yourself to evolve in a more loving way? 

Affirmations: 

I happily give and receive love each day.

I attract loving and caring people into my life.

I am worthy of love and deserve to receive love in abundance.

Happiness begins with me and me alone. I have the power to create my own happiness.

Meditations: 

Loving Kindness Meditation for Kids (approx. 4 minutes

5 Minute Self Love Meditation

Music and Videos

Can't stop the Feeling - From GoNoodle - Trolls and Justin Timberlake

Old movie stars dance to Uptown Funk (Bruno Mars)

Owl City - Not all Heroes wear capes (Lyrics video) about dad

What about me makes you proud. A Father's day video

Sesame Street - Will.I.am sings What I am

Books and Short Movies

My Heart fills with Happiness by Monique Gray Smith - Art: Julie Flett

I like myself - by Karen Beaumont 

Hair Love - Oscar Winning Short from Matthew A Cherry
Sony Pictures 6:47 minutes 
Tells the heartfelt story of an African American father learning to do his daughters hair for the first time. 

Enjoy your week and have fun making deposits into your spiritual bank account! 
Susan

(Photo Credit to: Greg Rakozy, Clay Banks and Vitolda Klien - on Unsplash.com)

 

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Celebrating our Graduates!


       

Congratulations to our 2021 Graduates! 
We take a moment out of our regular Youth Ministry Blog to celebrate the right of passage of 6 of our CSL Santa Rosa teens. Each has participated in our Youth and/or Teen program, most of them have participated in Centers for Spiritual Living Teen Camps and all are brilliant lights in the World. 

Please join me in Congratulating and Celebrating:

Dylan Jansen
Aaron Markowitz
Estrella Rose Pacheco
Alex Gatmaitan
Isabella Natalini
Sofia De la Cruz

(Pictured above Left to Right are Dylan, Aaron and Estrella) 

"Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements." Napolen Hill

To all of our communities family's and youth ~ we celebrate all you've accomplished over the last year plus. What ever grade of school you've completed and are moving into - bravo. You did it!

It's so important to acknowledge the rights of passage throughout our life. Often we are in such a hurry to move on to the next thing, that we forget to celebrate all the ways we've overcome challenges, grown in new ways of learning as well as ways of being in this thing called Life. 

"We have within us, a power that is greater than anything we shall ever contact in the outer, a power that can overcome every obstacle in our life and set us safe, satisfied and at peace, healed and prosperous, in a new light and a new life." Ernest Holmes

To our new graduates, remember there is a power within you that supports you always. We wish you all the best in your new adventures forward and hope to see you again at a future Sunday service. 

With Love and many Blessings ~ We Celebrate YOU!






 

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Feeling our Feelings - Values: Personal Power & Choice

June is here! Our half way mark through 2021. So much has changed since this year began and more changes are on the way. June often marks the month of beginnings and endings. Students graduate from one grade to the next. Some are taking big leaps, graduating from High School and entering College in the fall. Others are nearing College graduation and entering the work force in a new way. June also celebrates Pride, commemorates Juneteenth, the emancipation from slavery, is the month of summer solstice and Father's Day. It's all fertile ground for a wide range of "Feelings" to occur. 

This weeks theme invites us to feel our feelings, even the painful ones, or the ones that trigger fear. We humans often try to hide our feelings or push aside the ones that bring up fear, yet fear can be a motivator if you allow it to be. Pain is often a signal that something is off or is in need of correction and our attention.

What if, we didn't avoid or deny pain or fear and instead embraced it as an invitation to go deeper into love, higher consciousness and an opportunity for us to stand in our personal power from a place of choice?

"When we talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting and less scary. Fred Rogers aka Mr. Rogers

Unless you are in some isolated location, it's safe to say we humans are constantly receiving information and messages about how to do this, or how to do that, what to say or not say, do or not do. Expectations from our family, teachers, siblings or own thoughts can sometimes feel overwhelming. Our feelings are our inner voice speaking to us, trying to get our attention. We are always at choice about how we act or react to our feelings, even when we think we aren't. Try thinking of your feelings as your very own personal guidance system that can help you decide which decisions to make and what actions to take. If you feel yourself triggered, take a deep breath (or 3) and tune into your Higher Power or Inner Spirit. Let the goodness of your inner wisdom guide you. 

“We have within us a power…that can overcome every obstacle in our experience and set us safe, satisfied and at peace, healed and prosperous in a new light and a new life.” Ernest Holmes - Science of Mind

We have the power within us to find the good in most situations if we try. It's not that we cover up the challenges or difficulties, we use them to grow in a new or greater understanding. Our personal power is often strengthened by the tough choices in life far more than those that come easy. We may not see it in the moment, yet time and reflection create opportunities of perspective. The contrast of our experiences teaches us to see with greater clarity how we wish to live our life. 

"Feelings or emotions are the universal language and are to be honored. They are the authentic expression of who you are at your deepest place. Judith Wright"

Often when I find that I am in the midst of a difficult situation, or have BIG emotions about something in my life, I make the time and space to tune into Gratitude. Identifying things, people, places, actions, past situations, activities or ways of being that I am grateful for helps me to tune into my personal power in a deep and profound way. When I can find the "Thank You" in a situation, it helps me to move forward in choice that serves all from the highest good, even if it may also be painful. 

Here are some questions to consider in exploration of your feelings. Have a discussion with a friend or your family and learn together. What are some of the moments in your life that you've learned the greatest lesson from? Think on a past challenge, how did you resolve it? What did you lear from it? If faced with it again, would you choose differently? What is something that you might be feeling sad about that is ending? What is something that you are looking forward to? What is something you thought you would never get through or learn that you do now without thinking about it? 

Meditations/Mindfulness:

Kids meditation to befriend difficult emotions

Emotional Awareness - Mindfulness for Kids building emotional intelligence
From Fablefy

Affirmations:

I honor my feelings and allow them to inform me.

I have the power to change my thinking and make good choices.

I am a divine expression of love and allow love to guide my emotions.

I am strong, powerful and grateful for my experiences.

I am doing the best I can in all that I do, think and feel.

Music:

These are my Feelings - Kid's Learning Songs

"Emotions" from StoryBots - Super Songs Episode 8 - Netflix Jr

Books:

The Most Magnificent Thing - By Ashly Spires - from Read Along

Stand Tall Molly Lou Mellon - by Patty Lovell

Creativity:

Emotions/Feelings Charades
If you haven't played or created your own emotions charades game this is a great week to give that a try. There are many different emoticon or emotions that can be printed. Use your favorite search engine to look up - Chart of Emotions and you are bound to find something that will work.  Cut out the faces and glue them to a solid piece of colored card stock or thick paper to create your deck of cards. Then gather together and play emotions charades. Each person has to act out the emotion and the audience gets to guess. The one who gets it right, takes the next turn. Remember to give everyone a turn!

Chart of Emotions/Feelings
Using that same search - create a household chart of emotions. Then post it somewhere where everyone can see it. Start each day by finding the emotion that most fits your mood. Your emotions may change throughout the day and that's okay. If you are having a hard time explaining how you feel, find your emotion on the chart and share it with someone. That way they will understand how you are feeling too. 

Enjoy your week everyone and remember to honor your feelings!

Special thanks to photographers: Priscilla DuPree, Brock Wegner & Yasin Yusuf from Unsplash.com

Popular Posts